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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

360        HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

assumed control of education. The universities of France had
disappeared in the course of the Revolution, and central schools
combining literary and industrial studies had partly taken their
place. Napoleon now merged the various institutions of higher
learning in a new University of France under officials nominated
and supervised by the executive power, and committed to it the
complete charge of the national education. " No one," it was
decreed, " may open a school or teach publicly unless he is a
member of the imperial university and a graduate of one of its
faculties. ... No school may be set up outside the university
and without the sanction of its head."

Napoleon's object in these drastic measures of reconstruction
was not obscure. He wished to make the schools and colleges
of France the servants of himself and his dynasty, as he had
made the army. " All the schools of the imperial university/5
it was quite explicitly stated, " will take for the basis of their
instruction: (i) the precepts of the Catholic religion; (2) loyalty
to the emperor, to the imperial monarchy as the trustee for the
well-being of the people, and to the Napoleonic dynasty as
guardian of French unity and of all the ideas proclaimed by
the constitution." In accordance with this view of the function
of the national education, the whole system was modelled on
the military regime of its founder. " The university, in fact,
was organized like a regiment. The discipline was severe, and
the teachers were subject to it as well as the scholars. When a
teacher infringed any regulation and incurred censure, he was
put under arrest. There was a uniform for all members of the
university: a black robe with blue palms. The college was a
miniature reproduction of the army. Each establishment was
divided into companies with sergeants and corporals. Everything
was done to the sound of the drum. It was soldiers, and not men,
that were to be made."*

In the scheme no provision whatever was made for elementary-
education. Napoleon, it is true, was not altogether lacking
in interest in the matter. In spite of the fact that he refused
to see Pestalozzi on his visit to Paris in 1802, saying that he
had other things to think about than questions of A B C, he
subsequently inspected with approval a school set up in Paris
by one of Pestalozzi's disciples, and decreed the creation of one

* Compayri, Histoare critique des doctrines de I'education en France, ii, p. 378.